things involving me

thefacebookasshole asked: Please don't let Drumblr die! It's the only decent Tumblr app there is! Tumblr's official app is utter shit.

Sadly there’s very little I can do. Google are ignoring my emails and to be perfectly honest I don’t see the point in developing apps if they’re just going to drop a stupid policy on them without warning.


Anonymous asked: Hi Niall, I just came across your blog from a google search. My app was just removed from Google play store for "Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy." These claims are of course bogus and trying to collect some tips/advice before responding to them. Did you finally get your app back up? Any general tips/advice? I'm a second year college student and anything would really help. My email is Zaheer@Zaheer.me

It looks like you only get one chance to respond, so make it count.

I responded with a ‘wtf?’ and they took that as my appeal. I haven’t heard anything back since then so I’m assuming they closed my case and all responses are going into a bin.

I didn’t get my app back up and quite honestly I’m not prepared to put the work into it if this kind of bullshit can happen on a whim.


A reply from Google Play

Hi Niall,

Thank you for your note.

We have reviewed your appeal and will not be reinstating your application.

If your account is still in good standing - and the nature of your application allows for republishing, consider releasing a new, policy compliant version of your application to Google Play. Please refer to our initial message for specific policy and developer terms.

In addition to the policy violations mentioned in our previous email, your app is also in violation of our spam policy which states:

"Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to link to the website or the webview of a website not owned by you (unless you have permission from the website owner to do so)."

Please note that violations may result in a suspension of your Google Play Publisher account.

Regards,
The Google Play Team

So not only have my questions been completely ignored, I now have a shiny new policy violation. Huzzah.

The bit I’m most pissed off about is:
"consider releasing a new, policy compliant version of your application to Google Play".

Because the app is listed as “suspended”, I cannot make any modifications to it, nor can I upload a new apk under this package name. I would need to create a brand new package name and upload a brand new apk. In other words, starting from scratch with no ratings, no users, and a ton of old users who have no idea that the app they’re using will never get an update. Oh, and hope I fixed all the policy violations in the newly-uploaded app or risk having my developer account killed, not to mention “investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts”. Good job, Google.

I’ve replied, but there’s no way I’m starting from scratch. I’ll most likely just let my apps die.

Hi

Thank you for taking the time to completely ignore all of my questions. I’d like to address the problems you raised, except that with the exception of the “spam policy” I don’t know what any of these problems are.

Regarding the spam policy, tumblr’s API docs (http://www.tumblr.com/docs/en/api/v1#iphone) state that “For iPhone apps that want to display a user’s Dashboard, Tumblr offers an iPhone-optimized view at http://www.tumblr.com/iphone." This is the URL used by my app (and other tumblr apps) and I fail to see how this is a violation given that it’s provided by tumblr for developer use.

Regarding “Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior”, I could understand that if the app was called “Tumblr” and used the same icon as the official Tumblr app. It’s clear to me from the comments posted on my app that nobody thinks this is the official app - there are many, many “Better than the official app” style comments. The app name is clearly based on the “tumblr” name, but is so obviously not “tumblr” that I simply don’t understand why you think that I am either pretending “to be someone else” or representing “my app that is authorized or produced by another company”. If you really think i have violated this policy then please, tell me exactly how I did it.

Regarding “Intellectual Property”, it’s not clear to me how my app is in violation of this policy. The only thing I can come up with is the title or description of the app when I published it. Again, please tell me exactly how I am violating this policy.

Once again, I’m left in the position where:
- My app has allegedly violated policies
- I have not been told *how* the app is in violation
- I cannot take steps to address these violations, if any, because I haven’t been told what the app is doing wrong.
- My only option is to guess what I need to fix, and then upload an entirely new app with a new package name and start from scratch with zero users, zero ratings, zero comments and hope I got it right. If I get it wrong I face having my developer account deleted, along with possible deletion of all my other Google accounts. This is not appealing.

Kindly spell it out for me. I can’t fix anything unless you tell me exactly what I’ve done wrong. Telling me which policies have been violated doesn’t actually help me in any way.

Notification from Google Play

This is a notification that your application, Drumblr (Tumblr for Android), with package ID net.asplode.Drumblr, has been removed from the Google Play Store. REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of your application as a new package name. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy. If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit the Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal. The Google Play Team
My favourite part of this is where they don’t tell me what I’ve done wrong, they just saw fit to remove the app from the store. I’m somewhat annoyed, and I suspect I’m going to cease developing for android entirely.













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